Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Main Event: BBQ Beef Ribs

I lived in Texas for nine years and pork ribs just don't cut it for me. Kim, my wife, loves only pork ribs so look for a pork rib recipe coming soon. In either case, I use convection and radiant heat only. No direct heat. (Note the hat.)

When you live upstate, getting beef ribs is a chore and a difficult chore it is. I order only during the summer so I can BBQ them. This year, I ordered my ribs way in advance, making sure that I would get them in time for the First Virtual Twitter Throw Down. But, the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft a-gley. And gang they did and quite aft a-gley it was. Instead of my butcher getting me the beef back ribs I normally cook, he got me the beef spare rib. And, of course, they were huge. Since I was expecting smaller, 6 inch, back ribs, I thought I'd gotten brontosaurus ribs.

So, running short on time for this Throw Down, I went with the spare ribs and fed one per customer. I didn't have the heart to cut them off the bone. I've since corrected this mistake on the part of my purveyor and have ordered the 6 inch back ribs. Perhaps I'll only get stegosaurus ribs this time. Anyone want 20 lbs of spare ribs? Or just come over and help me eat these.

I'll be posting the back ribs next week. I should be able to get the post finished by the end of Monday, the 29th, the last day of the Throw Down. And I've also ordered some pork ribs. However, the spare ribs are wonderful ribs and more than delish. Lots of beautiful meat and rich as all get out. Sooooo, in the meantime, enjoy. The cooking times don't change that much. With pork ribs or beef back ribs you can shorten the time by 3 to 2 hours respectively.

To get more of the back story on the First Annual Virtual Twitter Throw Down, see Luna Cafe's wonderful fried chicken blog post.

The most important part of making great BBQ Beef Ribs or any ribs isn't the sauce, though a bad sauce can ruin them, it is the wood you use to cook them with and how you cook them. I prefer an indirect convection style cooking and of course I use a Mesquite and oak blend of wood or charcoal. When I lived in Texas, I'd just go out and hack down some mesquite and oak and start cooking. We'd put entire tree logs in the BBQ. However, here in New York, I find the best charcoal I can and use that. I usually use Cowboy Charcoal and a good all oak or hickory charcoal and soaked wood chips.

The first box is off the to left.

I do not use direct heat. I use radiant heat and convection. I usually use two fires, one on each side of the meat. However, since these ribs were from a brontosaur, I stoked the firebox full with charcoal and kept the flames away from the meat that way.

After cooking the meat for about four hours, I started applying my BBQ Sauce. I applied it three times as it continued cooking for another two hours.

Then, I brought in the ribs to rest for 20 mins and applied more sauce.

Then I cut them and applied more sauce before serving. I also gave the diners extra sauce to apply at they saw fit. In case you missed it, this is my sauce recipe.

Usually, when doing a BBQ, I make feather bread, but in this case, I had Brian make a nice focaccia:

For sides, I wrapped fresh corn on the cob in alunimum foil, added butter, garlic, smoked sea salt and pepper and threw those in the fire box for 15 minutes. I also served roasted fingerling potatoes. For dessert, Brian made a very nice Black Forest Cake with whipped cream rather than icing. After these ribs, it was deemed very light. A perfect way to end the meal. Or course, we started with my famous apple cider vinaigrette salad. All in all, a tasty treat. And all brought to you by:

My Italian Fried Chicken recipe coming next. I do a great panfried and baked version of this wonderful Italian treat. Yum.

Please see the following people who are participating in the ThrowDown:

Mark LaPolla, New York
Twitter ID: @LifeByChocolate

SMS Bradley, Pacific Northwest
Twitter ID: @LunaCafe

Gluten Free Sanctuary
Leslie McLinden, Arkansas
Twitter ID: @lesliemac59

Fresh Eyes
Jan Richards, California
Twitter ID: @MrsRoadshow

Twitter: @LicoriceShrine

Grandma’s Gluten-Free Baking N Cooking
Joyce Paige, Kansas
Twitter: @SilknPearls or @GFGrandmaBNC

The Sensitive Pantry
Nancy Kohler, New Jersey
Twitter ID: @SensitivePantry

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Chocolate BBQ Sauce that's to die for

This is my wonderful BBQ Sauce for my BBQ Beef Ribs. It is heavenly with a tough of Natural Cocoa Powder to give it depth and round out the kick you get from the urfa. This is simple to make. First we take stew for 30 mins the following:

25 Romas
2 red peppers

Don't forget to clean the Romas and the peppers and take out the seeds on the peppers and the stems on both. Next we blend. I used an immersion blender.

Then I added

4 T garlic
1 T smoked sea salt
1/2 cup molasis
1/4 apple cider vinegar

2-3 T urfa
white pepper
green pepper
1 T green tabasco
1/8 cup worster sauce
1/2 cup honey mustard
1/4 cup natural cocoa powder

And simmered for about 3 hours or until about a third of the liquid has been lost. I blended again to make it smoother. I actually did this in two stages. I simmered for 1 hour and then let it rest for a couple of days while my ribs were coming in. Then I simmered again until it reduced about a third.

I apply my sauce to the BBQ as I finish cooking. I usually apply about three times over the last two hours of BBQing. Then I apply again before serving and I give the diners some extra so that they can add sauce as they will, in the grand Texas tradition.

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